Three Sisters and Back to Bondi

2 12 2016

I awoke to the sound of the car starting. It was still pitch black out, but I knew immediately that Bill had gone to the car to warm up. His sleeping bag is actually a camping quilt, overstuffed so that it is 40 degree bag. Despite all his layers, he was definitely not comfortable in this temperature.

I most certainly was not going to get out of my warm sleeping bag, so I closed my eyes and kinda fell back asleep. Soon, the sun arose and I joined Bill in the car.

“So, what’s the plan?”

I could tell Bill hadn’t gotten much sleep (I mean, look at how small the car is! He’s 6’4″!) so we opted to start heading back to Sydney. But first, we needed to stop at the Three Sisters again, and actually hike over to get up close and personal with the girls:-0

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On the way back to Three Sisters, we were able to check off another thing from our “must do/see” in Australia list: we saw wild kangaroos! Just like deer in the states, a few shot out in front of the car, and we had to quickly break. I was only able to get a shot of this guy, who was still hanging out in someone’s farm, separated from his friends.

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We got back up to the visitors center and boy, was it windy! We followed the trail, went down some steep steps and crossed wooden walkway that was just a bit sketchy. Don’t. Look. Down. I told myself!

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We grabbed some photos, watched the crazy cockatoos (which are wild there, and are obnoxiously loud!) before heading back up. Some other walkers stopped to chat with us and told us we should check out the falls that was just up the road a bit. It was still pretty early, so I convinced Bill to stop. Well, not after stopping at this super cute coffee shop where I had the most amazing fruit cake ever.

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Absolutely NOTHING like the boxed sticky stuff you get. This was clearly homemade and outstanding!

We didn’t spend a ton of time at the falls; we actually saw them from a distance but didn’t want to walk all the way over and down to the bottom. It was chilly and we were both ready for a nap.

On the way home, we found a safe spot to stop and pulled over to take a 30 minute nap. Much needed!

We still had plenty of time before we needed to return the car, so I asked Bill if we could go back to Bondi and do the Coogee walk to see the sculptures. He agreed and navigated us back to that special place:-)

Today however, was a completely different day than Tuesday. It was much, much cooler, cloudy, and rainy. The surf was much calmer and the beach was empty.

We waited out the rain at a noodle shop and though it was quite good, it wasn’t quite as tasty as roach soup place. With full bellies and drier weather, we headed to Sculptures by the Sea. On the way, we passed the Iceberg club, which to my dismay was closed. Apparently every Thursday the pool is closed for cleaning. Argh! I guess that just means I need to go back!

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The art walk was really rad- so many beautiful and interesting sculptures. Here’s a few of my favorites!

 

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After we had seen all the sculptures, we headed back to the main drag to a brewery that had caught our eye on Tuesday. We grabbed a beer sampler at the Bavarian Bier Garden and played some foozeball. I am absolutely terrible and Bill whooped my butt every game. Tired and over foozeball, we headed back to Sydney since it was certainly not a beach day.

We returned the car and walked in the rain to our AirBnB, a loft studio in King’s Cross. King’s Cross is definitely more of an interesting neighborhood than Circular Quay: eclectic, artsy, and just the right amount of seedy.

The rainy weather did not make it an appealing night to be out and about, so we grabbed some take out Mexican, bought a bottle of wine, and had a relaxing night in.





The Trip Of A Lifetime (Part 1 of ?)

10 11 2016

Howdy my long lost readers! If you’re still with me, thanks! I had a race report from the Crystal River Sprint #3 half written before I went away on a 2 week vacation. Because vacation is much more exciting than a sprint triathlon, I’m going to tell you about my trip to Australia and New Zealand!

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I’m blogging about the trip mostly because I want to remember as much as possible; it’s not every day one gets to hop on a plane, fly for 15 hours and spend two weeks literally on the other side of the world. So, grab your coffee, this is gonna be a long series of posts!

 

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Bill and I left Tampa bright and early on Saturday October 24th (like 7am early) to fly to LA. When we arrived, we had about 13 hours until our flight to Sydney; because we had > 12 hours until the next flight, we weren’t able to re-check our bags. So, rather than finding storage for the day, we opted to rent a car and explore!

First stop, In N Out Burgers, obv.

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Normally, I eat vegetarian as some of you may know. But, when it comes to these burgers, I make an exception! Animal style all the way!

After our heavy “brunch” we headed to the Santa Monica Pier. Oh LA traffic, you certainly are a pain!

img_6394We wandered around what I think was the downtown Santa Monica area on our way to the pier and walked through a lovely Saturday Farmer’s market. Gosh, I really miss the farmer’s markets from when I lived in DC! I sampled some yummy tomatoes and pears before we finally headed to the beach.

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Santa Monica is beautiful if you haven’t been there- the ocean and the mountains, all in one place. Gosh, if it weren’t so stinking expensive, I would love to live there!

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We walked some more and then decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.

img_6403If you’re unfamiliar, the La Brea Tar Pits are an incredible archaeological site that is currently active! Thousands upon thousands of bones from the ice age have been dug up already, and they’re still discovering more. Back in the day (WAAAAAAY back in the day) animals would come to drink/eat at the tar pit. Well, the obviously didn’t realize it was tar, because when they stepped in it, they got stuck! The poor animals couldn’t move and eventually died. And dead animals = easy dinner for predators, so they came and explored. They too got stuck! That’s they theory of how SO MANY bones were found in such a small area. We wandered around the museum for a bit (it’s not that big, so easy to do in a few hours) and gawked at the all the fossils.

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We worked up an appetite, so we needed some food, stat!

I was craving something a bit healthier than this morning’s meal, and thankfully we found Mendocino Farms. This place was great! Order at the counter, sample the beers and side salads (like potato salad, or the yummy shells with almond romesco sauce I had), and then sit down and enjoy your meal when your number is called. Bill got a BLT with tempeh bacon and I had a delicious salad. I wish I had written down what was in the salad because it was amazing!

 

After dinner (or was it lunch #2?) we still had time to kill, so since it was nearing sunset and we were on the west coast, back to the beach we went (duh). It was a stunner of a night, and a great way to wrap up our day in LA!

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And now, back to the airport, return the car, check in to the flight and we’re headed to Australia Baby!!!

 





Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport (Review)

23 06 2015

Summer’s officially started and that means many of you will likely be spending hours upon hours outdoors in some way, shape or form. Whether it’s at the beach, by the lake, at your kid’s ball game, or in your neighbor’s backyard, summer = get outside!

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Last summer, I spent every weekend on my bike for hours upon hours. This summer, I haven’t been doing quite as much of that, but I still get outside when I can and brave the stifling Florida humidity. Every time I head out though, I make sure to put on sunscreen. No. Matter. What. Years as a lifeguard on the beach patrol got me in that habit, and it is an incredibly important one to have!

IMG_5621(that’s Courtney, but it was the only picture I could had of someone applying sunscreen!)

When the kind folks at Neutrogena reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to try out some of their new CoolDry Sport sunscreen, I happily obliged. I’ve been a loyal Neutrogena sunscreen fan since I started doing triathlons. The Neutrogena Sport Face oil-free lotion has been my go to, along with the Sport spray. Yes, I am that girl that carries two sunscreens: one for the face and one for the rest of the body. #highmaintenance.

The new CoolDry line has MICROMESH™ technology, which allows sweat to pass through the sunscreen without compromising the full strength SPF protection. It eliminates that “sticky” feeling you have when you sweat through your sunscreen. Basically, it breathes better than other formulations of sunscreen. It’s highly durable, lasting through those sweaty workouts, which are pretty much a given during the Florida summer.

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I was able to try out the CoolDry Sport SPF 70 lotion on my Smoky Mountain hike a few weeks ago. The lotion was thick and a little more difficult to spread than I was used to, so I felt like I was using more to cover all the areas I needed. Once on though, the lotion felt pretty good. Throughout the afternoon as we hiked, I was sweating a ton, but not once did I get burned.

IMG_9775I also tried out the SPF 30 CoolDry spray on a few bike rides. First, I’m a big fan of spray sunscreens. When you’re trying to apply sunscreen to your back when you’re home alone, it certainly makes life easier. I most recently used the sunscreen for a 1.5 hour ride in mid-morning, so it was definitely getting hot by the time my ride ended. I was sweating a lot, but the sunscreen did it’s job. I didn’t have any burn, and my body was able to perspire as it should to keep me cool. I’d say thats a win, win!

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(Source)

So, as you head out there for whatever summer activity you have planned, don’t forget your sunscreen! And, if you’re looking for a sunscreen that you won’t sweat off in the first 5 minutes of your workout, grab a bottle of Neutrogena CoolDry. It will work as hard as you do during that workout!

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I don’t sweat, I sparkle!

Full disclosure: I was provided with two bottles of sunscreen. All opinions are my own!